Thursday, February 22, 2018

La Videmanette

Ever since I was a little girl I've been skiing on "La Videmanette". Opening the wooden shutters of my chalet bedroom in the morning this Swiss "Grande Dame" would greet me some times with happy sunshine others with a grey veil around her peak. Some things never change.

The Videmanette's limestone is one of the most unique rock formations in the valley. Popular with skiers, gliders and climbers, the summit almost feels like the set of a science fiction movie. From the observation deck - at an altitude of 2,200 metres above sea level - one can spot Les Dents in one direction and the Eiger in the other.

Today the fun commences here with a spectacular view and valley-bound descents into the fog-engulfed slopes...


Rise and shine...


Maybe more rising than shining?!?


A nice surprise: the sun came out to greet us at the top of La Videmanette.
It looked like a different story from below.


The view up towards La Videmanette from the gondola


The view looking down into the valley


 Can I take this panorama with me to Paris? Please?!?


I do miss the Swiss mountains!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A cold day's skiing


Pretty but cold (-8ªC)


Stunning forces of nature


A scary mountain ride


Happy on my skis

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In love with Switzerland

The Swiss's favourite country is Switzerland: being able to experience nature right outside your own front door is priceless. The Swiss are particularly loyal tourists.

From its very beginnings, the National tourism organisation has always exploited its home advantage with great skill. The backbone of this strategy was “Revue Schweiz” - packed full of inspiring reports and images - freely available on all trains throughout the country, it sent the Swiss visitors off on trips for 77 years.

The importance of this home market is demonstrated every time that the Franc gets into turbulent waters as last happened in January 2015, when the Swiss National Bank decided to discontinue the minimum exchange rate for the Euro and the Franc rapidly rose in value.

Switzerland tourism board reacted immediately with the special multimedia campaign #INLOVEWITHSWITZERLAND. Using the popular hashtag, Swiss people could declare their love for their homeland in words and pictures, second by second on social media.

Back in the 1940s, the campaign “Everyone’s a skier” was a spectacular turning point for Switzerland as a nation of tourism. The intention was to shift winter sports from an elite hobby to a popular pastime and it worked. Skiing became a national sport. Today 35% of Swiss enjoy skiing while a good 5 % prefer to snowboard... in any case, winter sports plays a big part in Switzerland’s educational heritage.


Propaganda poster from 1940


Who remembers the Credit Suisse ski hats that were launched in 1977?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

When you can't wait to hit the slopes...

After a gruelling nine hour car trip from Paris to the Swiss Alps with heavy traffic from the word "go" we finally arrived at our destination to find the ski shop closed - meaning that we need to have our ski bindings checked the next morning before we set off for the mountain - as well as the local supermarket which basically translated into "no dinner".

A quick pit stop to unload the car and I am back on the road heading towards the next biggest Coop to buy dinner and the next day's breakfast. If you are a Swiss Expat a trip to the local Coop can evoke all kinds of vibes. For my family it symbolises all the food that we crave when living abroad. It's a guaranteed cure for homesickness.

Much to everyone's disappointment the next day it was pouring with rain. Little did that stop Expat girl's enthusiasm as she rallied the troupes to go skiing.

An hour later, there we were, on top of the mountain practically on our own with zero visibility but an unbeatable motivation, wanting to relish in that feeling when you hit the slopes for the first time in a season.

Nothing was going to stop us. We skied beneath the rain until we were soaked and our jackets were weighed down and we could wring them out. We skied until we were freezing and the water dripped inside of our googles. We skied until we had found our rhythm on the slopes and curved graciously down the hill. We skied until we had had enough...

A few years ago I would never ever had ventured out to ski in the rain. I am starting to wonder if - after living in France for seven years - the Parisian meteorological landscape is starting to get the better of us?!?



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mini Migros Tour

How about a Mini-Migros for your Mini-you? If you are Swiss or live in Switzerland you know what an essential part Migros plays in everyday life.

Well, in order to entertain little customers and fight for their loyalty right from the starting blocks, Migros has come up with a new strategy: Mini Migros, a reduced version where children can play at the "small shop".

Children aged 4 to 12 years can immerse themselves in this role-playing game and choose whether to interpret the role of collaborator of the branch, customer or logistics operator.

The packaging of the products are authentic like those actually present in the Migros supermarket. Mini carts, mini baskets, mini crates, even the fidelity card "Cumulus" is distributed, in short, everything that Mum and Dad can do in a big Migros can be done by the small participants in the Mini Migros game.

Adults are not allowed to enter. Children are welcomed by qualified personnel, educated at the entrance and followed during their stay in the Mini Migros, about 30 minutes.

This is the only stop in Ticino for the Mini Migros tour! An opportunity not to be missed, especially if it's raining outside. Have fun!

Venue: Mini Migros
Where: Serfontana Shopping Center, Viale Serfontana 20, 6834 Morbio Inferiore
Directions: You'll spot the shopping center at the Autobahn Exit Chiasso
Dates: Monday Feb 5th to Saturday Feb 17th, 2018
Times: Mon - Fri 10:00 - 18:30, Sa 10:00 - 17:30

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Pancake Day will be celebrated across the world next week, which means it's time to get your frying pans ready and brush up on your pancake-flipping skills.

Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day, always falls exactly 47 days before Easter which means this year it will be marked on Tuesday, February 13th. It is traditionally a feasting day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time of fasting, with many Christians giving up luxuries during the period.

Shrove Tuesday dates back to Anglo-Saxon times when Christians would go to confession and were ‘shriven’ (acquitted from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession and this came to be known as the Pancake Bell.

Eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday comes from a tradition of using up any rich foods such as eggs and fats in your house which are just the ingredients you need for pancakes.

The ingredients for pancakes are said to symbolise four points of significance at Easter and Springtime of the year. Eggs signify creation, flour is said to be the staff of life, salt is for wholesomeness and milk symbolises purity.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pear & raclette cheese gratin recipe

You might be in the mountains enjoying the snow or decided to stay at home this weekend, in any case 'tis the season for a delicious cheese raclette gratin. This sweet&sour recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with the kids and is prepared in a flash.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
400-500 gr of potatoes, boiled and peeled
50 gr of slices of raw ham, cut into pieces
2 pears, cut into wedges, peeled or not according to taste
1 tbs of chopped chives
200 gr of raclette cheese in halved slices
pepper
paprika

Preparation:
1.)  Halve the boiled potatoes and put in a gratin dish, the cut side upwards. Garnish with the ham, pears, chives and raclette cheese. Season.
2.) Gratinate for 10 mins. in the upper half of the preheated oven at 250°C.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blind Me Bubbles

The IWCL (Int'l. Women's Club of Lugano) Evening Group is happy to invite you to their first event of the year.

Praise the ego of the wine connoisseur with the bubbles twist? Do you know your limits when it comes to picking the difference between grapes? Blind Me Bubbles is a wine tasting experience allowing your palette to experiment during a fun and informative night.

A night to share a good laugh and to repeat at home with friends!

Venue: Blind Me Bubbles - a wine tasting experience
Where: Caffè dell'Aeroporto, Via Aeroporto 15, 6982 Agno
Date: Monday, February 5th, 2018
Time: 19:00 to 21:00
Wine by: L'Arcobaleno del Vino www.larcobalenodelvino.com
Price: CHF 30.- pp wine, food and a great night included!

Please sign up at: iwcleveninggroup@gmail.com See you there.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

RSI Open Doors

Listen up! The RSI (Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana) are opening up there doors on Saturday. Wouldn't you like to have a peak into their studios of Comano?

For the past 60 years, RSI has been committed to offering the Italian-speaking Switzerland public news shows, radio programmes, debates, surveys, culture, sports, entertainment, documentaries, cooking programs, game shows, childrens' hours and much more. These programmes bring together a large part of the Italian Swiss audience via radio, television, mobile phones and tablets.

Journalists, conductors, presenters, directors, operators will be available to present (and to let you experiment) their work as well as show you their technical means. You can sit in the place of the presenter of the TeleGiornale, visit the Sport Studio and the kitchen of Cuochi d’artificio, browse in their virtual studio and meet some familiar faces that enter our living rooms every day in the makeup room. You can also have a good laugh, trying to present the weather yourself.

Venue: RSI Open Doors
Where: RSI Studi TV, Via Curelia, 6949 Comano
Date: Saturday Feb 3rd, 2018
Time: 15:00
Entrance is free
For more info call Tel. 091 803 51 11 or write to info@rsi.ch.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Nonna's favourite family recipe

It seemed fitting to share one of Nonna's recipes today. I have taken a page out of Expat boy's homemade cookbook which he published age 15. The story behind the dish says it all...

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